Embracing the Unexpected of Expedition Travel
From Pole to Pole with ET Traveler Giovanni Savaglio
Aspirations to follow in the footsteps of his hero Ernest Shackleton brought traveler Giovanni Savaglio to ExpeditionTrips more than eight years ago. Program Manager April Petersen remembers “It was truly a pleasure helping Giovanni plan his voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands back in 2002; I loved his explorer's heart and sense of adventure!”
And quite the adventure it was. Unbeknownst to Giovanni, his 19-day Antarctic expedition would result in even more adventure and life change than he could have imagined: Not only would Giovanni experience a trip of a lifetime, but he would also meet the future love of his life.
“The unexpected is a part of polar travel. Aside from the routine posting of weather conditions, ice flows, and animal sightings, you can expect thoughts and reflections that go beyond the usual,” Giovanni explained.
Embracing the unforeseen of expedition travel goes beyond itinerary changes to include meeting new friends. Kerrie ventured to Antarctica from the United Kingdom, Giovanni from the United States, and somewhere amongst tabular icebergs and ice floes, penguin rookeries, and majestic mountains, a special friendship was born.
Giovanni said, "It was Kerrie and my love of travel and exotic locations that brought us together. I do believe that had we both met, in say Chicago or London, we probably would not have taken the time to get to know each other. Finding someone in a remote, exotic, and far off place has some effect on bringing people together. In my life's film they will say, 'It was travel that found them love.'"
Years later, after that first meeting on a journey to the world's southernmost continent, Giovanni and Kerrie are married with a son and reside in the United States. Giovanni's passion for travel continued, and in 2011, he set his sights on the North Pole with an entry in the "Blog Your Way to the North Pole" contest. More than 300 people entered for the chance to be appointed the official blogger. With the support of more than 2,500 people who voted for his blog entry, Giovanni became a top five finalist, where ultimately a selection committee selected Giovanni as the official blogger!
As the winner of the "Blog Your Way to the North Pole" contest, Giovanni won the coveted trip for two aboard Russian icebreaker 50 Years of Victory on a voyage to the North Pole. Giovanni departs this June with his wife Kerrie. Throughout their adventure, he will share his experience by blogging from Helsinki, Finland, through the Arctic Ocean and Franz Josef Land, to the top of the world. Keep an eye on our ExpeditionTrips Facebook page for real-time updates from his travels.
"I love the beauty of the pristine North Pole as much as its history and legends of polar explorers. Be prepared to become familiar with the likes of Peary, Henson, Cook, and Amundson. …I love to travel and all that goes with it. Be prepared to savor an occasional meal on board, find out what's the most popular drink at the bar, and hear about friendships made en route to the North Pole."
For aspiring polar travelers like Giovanni, or for veteran polar travelers wishing to return, this coming Antarctic season 2011-12 will offer an exciting line-up of expeditions exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, Weddell Sea, Antarctic Circle, Ross Sea, Falkland Islands, and spectacular South Georgia.
April recalls, "Over the past 10 years at ExpeditionTrips, I've gotten an amazing amount of joy in helping people plan their trips, as after the years of working in this spectacular place, I know the breathtaking, pristine beauty that they will encounter and be changed by forever!"